A baby born near Mumbai, India, was born with his own half-formed twin brother inside his stomach.
The deceased twin—which was nearly 3 inches in length and had formed in the other baby’s abdomen—had a brain, arm, and legs, according to the India Times.
Dr. Neena Nichlani, who delivered the twins, said the case is rare, describing it as a “foetus in foetu” pregnancy. Less than 200 of these cases have been reported around the world.
The 7cm foetus, weighing 150 gm and complete with a brain, arms and limbs, was found behind the baby’s stomach
“Following the delivery, however, the baby was shifted to the neo-natal ICU, as it was continuously vomiting and not responding to medicine,” Dr. Nichlani of Bilal Hospital said, adding that the attached male foetus to the full-grown baby couldn’t be detected and it only appeared as a cyst in scans of the pregnant 19-year-old.
She said the mother and child are quite lucky.
“It is a case of monozygotic twin pregnancy sharing single placenta, where one fetus wraps itself around and envelops the other and robs the host of its nutrition.” Nichlani was quoted by The Metro as saying. But, she added, “sometimes, it is a small mass, like in this case, and sometimes, depending on the size of the foetuses, none survive.”
Fetus-in-fetu is a congenital anomaly in which a malformed and parasitic fetus grows inside the body of a baby.
‘It can be implanted in skull, abdomen or tail bone of the host,” Dr. Nichlani said.
“The parasitic baby was lying behind the stomach deriving its nutrition from the host,” she continued. “The parasitic baby has been sent for further testing, reports are awaited.”
The mother and child are doing fine now, according to doctors.
“It is a very rare condition and this is for the first time I have encountered such a case in my entire medical career… Both the baby and the mother are doing well,” an official told the Hindustan Times.
A 10-month-old boy in Indonesia was found to have a 400 gram fetus living inside him, one of only a few hundred cases of “fetus in fetu” ever described
Foetus in Fetu
“Fetus in fetu is a rare condition that has been defined as the presence of one of the twins in the body of the other. It is most frequently located in retroperitoneal area; however, it has been reported in other locations as well. This report presents two cases of ‘fetus in fetu’ cases: one located in the retroperitoneal area and the other in the sacrococcygeal area,” says the National Library of Medicine.
Fetus in fetu was first defined in the first half of the 19th century, it noted.
“Despite its prevalence among infants and children, there have been reports of cases in which the anomaly had remained asymptomatic until later ages.[3–5] This rare congenital anomaly, which was reported around 100 times since its first definition in the nineteenth century, has been discussed with respect to its prognosis and treatment in the light of the relevant literature,” it says.